Settling In – Slowly
Blimey O’Reilly, where does the time go?
Gail pointed out yesterday that we’ve already been here for nearly a month, I couldn’t believe it.
Having Nicole and Simon aboard was great, spending time with my daughter is a rare pleasure these days and it was tough waving her off.
A Bit Down
I confess to having been a bit down ever since she left, the weather took a turn for the worse and, truth be told, I’m still having trouble settling in to this marina environment.
There’s nothing wrong with the place really, people are friendly enough, it’s sheltered, the showers and laundry are usable and we’re close to town.
For me though it feels a bit claustrophobic, on the anchor we really do have room to swing a cat (see what I did there). Here we’re hemmed in all round with boats. It’s strange isn’t it? Because we’re in a marina it’s considered perfectly normal and acceptable to have everyone so close together but if the boats were caravans and the water was concrete folks wouldn’t put up with it.
It’s noisy too, the road opposite seems to be the main route to and from Lagos Hospital and a dozen times a day ambulances from the National Institute of Medical Emergency (INEM) come screaming along with their multi-toned sirens blaring. They’re effective devices those sirens, they start with a deep single repeating tone that sounds like an electronic train horn, move through high-pitched wailing, and finish with the more traditional ‘nee nah’ ‘nee nah’. There’s no ignoring them.
There are a dozen bars and restaurants alongside the marina as well. We get live music or karaoke most nights but I guess these activities will die down as the season draws to a close.
Everyone we spoke to before we arrived raved about this place, but as far as I’m concerned it’s just OK. I’m beginning to realise that the folks who love it the most here are those that eat out a lot, those who spend their mornings in the coffee shops and their lunchtimes and evenings in the bars. They love the security and comfort of this floating suburbia with its social gatherings, the dominoes, the yoga, the rambling. Many of these people have been here years, they like to know who’s who and what’s what, well intentioned interest I’m sure, but I find it a little intrusive.
I suppose another reason I’m feeling a little sensitive about things is that this place shines a glaring spotlight on our lack of funds, Millions of pounds worth of yachts surround us, tens of thousands of Euros pass through the tills here every day, there are plenty of people around for whom money obviously isn’t a problem. We simply can’t afford to buy coffee and beer everyday or eat out as often as some seem to, that’s usually easy to forget, but not when you have to walk past the temptation many times a day.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that ‘Gleda’ acts as a mirror for our finances either. I’m quite used to her attracting a lot of attention because she looks so different and we’ve had some genuine interest and compliments since we arrived, but this is the first place I’ve heard words of ridicule about my boat. Folks should be careful what they say when they don’t know who’s listening, I don’t really care what others think but these little annoyances all add up .
Spot the odd one out!
Ultimately it’s just me being me I suppose, I can’t help feeling what I’m feeling, I can only try and control my reactions to those feelings and do my best to stay chilled. We’re here because it’s the best place to be for this Winter, Gail is enjoying being back in touch with ‘civilisation’ again and if she’s happy I’m happy.
A major frustration over the past week or so has been the crappy WiFi reception. We’d been told it was good but despite our berth being comparatively close to the office I can’t get reception inside the hulls and even up in the pod it’s weak and patchy.
For me good WiFi was one of the major attractions of coming here but this poor service has prevented me cracking on with my plans as I’d intended. Instead I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to get connected and eventually had to give up and order a dedicated external antenna and black boxes.
Yes, I know I’ve just been moaning about lack of funds and believe me I didn’t take the decision lightly, but it’s a no brainer that decent internet connectivity is essential to my plan of creating some income online so I’m treating the purchase as a long term investment in my business.
Anyway after waiting ten days for delivery I discovered yesterday that one of the boxes won’t work with my Mac so I’ve now had to order another one. I’ve found a temporary solution for now but I think I can see a whole ‘How to Get Online On A Boat‘ article coming up.
On the subject of my business I’ve continued looking into the various ways that I could use my writing skills to earn a shilling or two. I decided that freelance writing was a good place to start and to that end I’ve launched a new business website at ClearWords.xyz. It’s still work in progress to some extent but I’m currently going through the signup processes for sites like UpWork and Guru to see if I can land a few jobs to get me started. If anyone reading this needs help with any of the projects outlined on the site, or know of anyone else that might, then please do get in touch. I need as much help as I can to get this thing of the ground.
I haven’t forgotten the commitment to get my book out by Christmas either. I’ve been working on it everyday and have now finished the second draft. I’m planning one more edit before compiling the final edition and I’ll keep you posted.
As I read back through this post I see that to some it may come across to some as ‘Neil having a moan again’. I’m sorry for that, but as always these blog posts reflect my feelings at the time and by way of demonstrating that all is not doom and gloom I’ll leave you with a few pictures I’ve taken around Lagos over the past few days. Thanks for reading.
Walking to the shops ……. at the end of October!
Street Art (We can see this one from the boat)
Storks (That nest is about 2m (6ft) diameter)